Monday, January 18, 2021

Keeping Your Warehouse Clean and Safe: 7 Top Tips

 Keeping Your Warehouse Clean and Safe: 7 Top Tips

Keeping your warehouse clean and safe is one of the most important factors when it comes to running a highly productive and effective warehouse and business. Warehouses that are unorganised and unclean will be much more prone to accidents and you will also find that your employees are less efficient, with an attitude of low morale. Dirt can also cause machines and equipment to break or malfunction, which can then cost money to fix or replace. 

Ideally, warehouses should be clean and clear of debris and mess, with aisles that are free from obstructions and safe for employees to work in, as well as work around inventory and machinery such as forklifts without any risk. With this in mind, here are 7 tips for keeping your warehouse clean and safe. 

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Maximise space

No matter if you’re in a warehouse or an office, all workplaces will benefit from well thought out shelving and storage. When it comes to warehouses, it is all about increasing the size of your inventory, as well as providing enough space for full accessibility and safety. 

Having more space means that you can properly organise and store your products and that employees aren’t risking their safety either accessing it or doing stocktake or inventory. Well organised and tidy workspaces have a positive impact on employee productivity and morale, so it is full of benefits. 

Use different waste bins

Warehouses are often full of things such as cardboard boxes, tape, bubble wrap and paper, so by providing the right waste bins for excess material and waste can prevent a build-up of unused or discarded packing and causing a mess in a few days or even hours. 

Some of the best warehouses have streamlined recycling and waste management in place across the warehouse, which encourages employees to properly dispose and recycle any waste. Be sure to regularly empty and clear waste as bins which are overflowing can lead to more issues. 

Recycling is also something that all warehouses should look into, no matter if you are a big business or a small independent. We all need to do our part when it comes to recycling and helping the environment and warehouses tend to get through a lot of material waste which can be recycled. 

Assign employee responsibilities

If your employees work within their own zones or areas, then create the guidance that each employee needs to be responsible for their own work zones. 

In warehouses, most employees work within a certain dock or zone, so encourage them to make sure that their workspace is clean before they leave at the end of the day. This responsibility could include simply sweeping and clearing their area, or it could be cleaning equipment and machinery (within the recommended safety standards). 

If you have slower days, where there are fewer deliveries or shipments, then use these to do a thorough clean and check through of the warehouse. If your employees are responsible for their own work areas, then they are more likely to be respectful of the space and ensure it is clean and well maintained. 

Look at your Warehouse’s Use

What your warehouse is used for will change the cleanup procedure recommended. For example, if it is used for accepting and shipping deliveries, then there is less likely to be issues such as spillages or food waste, but issues with cardboards and packing materials instead. 

Food warehouses will need a much more regular and thorough cleaning, in keeping with regulations and rules, due to the nature of its use, so you need to evaluate your warehouse’s use and take this into account when coming up with a cleaning schedule. 

You might look to invest in more frequent cardboard waste collections if you are using a lot of packaging, or consider regular commercial pressure washing for food warehouses and storage if you get a lot of spills. 

Make Cleaning Supplies Readily Available

If an employee has to go to the other side of the warehouse for things such as a brush or waste bag, then it is likely that they will begin to cut corners or look for ways to skip these tasks because of the time and effort it takes. 

Provide a basic cleaning kit for each zone if you have a large warehouse with numerous teams and zones, consisting of waste bags, brushes and dustpans, disinfectant and cloths. For smaller warehouses or teams, then ensure that cleaning supplies are well maintained and easy to access. 

Reduce Dust

Ensuring that your warehouse is clean and dust-free should be one of your top priorities, not only in terms of hygiene but also because of employee health and wellbeing. 

All warehouse workers know how dusty it can get, but there is only so much that they can do themselves to reduce this. Often, depending on your warehouse’s use, dust is more likely to accumulate and cause issues, so if this is the case, then reducing the dust in the air and on surfaces is important.

Air filtration systems can help reduce the amount of dust in the air, whilst there are also high-pressured cleaners which can clean away dust in high up or hard to reach areas. Encouraging your employees to regularly wipe down their stations or the bays they can reach will also help when it comes to reducing dust in the warehouse. 

Keep an incident book

Like in all workplaces, accidents can happen, but in warehouses, workplace accidents and injuries are much more common due to the nature of the workplace. Things such as trips, slips and falls are the most common accidents to happen, but even things such as cut fingers, trapped hands and bumps to the head are also more likely to happen in warehouses. 

Keep an incident book and encourage employees to log and make note of anything that happens in the warehouse that could cause injury, such as spills or broken machinery. If a log is kept of all potential hazards, then should an employee sustain an injury, then there is a clear account of all previous hazards. Should any employees have a serious injury and want to make a claim, then this will also help with the investigation.  

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